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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13858/new-jersey-governor-christie-responds-to-a-teacher/

New Jersey Governor Christie Responds to a Teacher

September 10, 2010 by


North September 10, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Good job not taking the fall for it but at the same time, he did raise Sate spending. So a “net fail” for freedom :-)

Rick September 10, 2010 at 1:33 pm

I’m not so sure it’s a “net fail” for freedom. The total “shock therapy” treatment – as desirable as it might be to some people here – really isn’t politically realistic at the moment. Also, I’m not sure it’s desirable now because any short term gain the pro-liberty movement will get from it could eventually be undermined by the confusion of “radical change”, and that might play into the hands of statists. I’m not saying that raising state spending is ever good, I just think that when faced with a leviathan battles have to be chosen wisely and sometimes small victories add up to larger ones in the long run.

My question about someone like Christie is would he be that tough-minded if economic times were better? In other words, is he principled or just reacting to circumstances?

Daniel September 11, 2010 at 1:14 am


Outside very few, very rare individuals, politicians are not guided by principle but by what’s politically expedient.

Joe Peric September 10, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I like the fact that he doesn’t have a “unions can do no evil” attitude that is horrifyingly prevalent.

Greg September 10, 2010 at 1:40 pm

1 billion – 820 million is not 280 million. Funny that such a mistake would be made during this discussion.

J. Murray September 10, 2010 at 2:29 pm

It’s a common mistake, I wouldn’t hit him for it. There are plenty of more substantial things to hit him on.

DD5 September 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm

So some slick Conservative takes office in some State and wants to turn his criminal state apparatus into a more efficient machine and avoid potential financial calamity, again for the sake of the State, and we’re suppose to what exactly? cheer him and applaud him for taking on a teacher or her union?

J. Grayson Lilburne September 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Must every post imply unmitigated support for the person referenced? Must every reference to a non-Rothbardian be answered by a flourish of anarchist purity? Does it really help the cause to be insufferable?

Beefcake the Mighty September 10, 2010 at 2:58 pm

Yes, it does.

DD5 September 10, 2010 at 4:01 pm

OK, tell me please. What is so Misesian about what he said? Wasn’t it if Milton Friedman who said: “Thank god the State is inefficient or we’d all be slaves by now”. or something like that.

Seriously, since you pulled out the “Rothbardian” card here, tell me what is Misesian about it.

J. Grayson Lilburne September 10, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I didn’t mean Rothbardian as opposed to Misesian. I meant Rothbardian as opposed to any kind of non-Rothbardian.

DD5 September 10, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I know you didn’t, but that was my point. It isn’t Misesian either so why the comment about Rothbardian or non-Rothbardian.

J. Grayson Lilburne September 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm

Fine, if you’re going to nitpick, just read “anarchist” where I wrote “Rothbardian” (which I would have written if it didn’t sound artless to have “anarchist” twice in the same sentence).

DD5 September 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm

No nitpicking. There is nothing Misesian I said, which clearly implies more miniarchist/classical liberal.

Seriously Grayson, I didn’t mean to personally attack you or anything. But tell me what part of that speech had anything to do with freedom? This is all about preserving the system. he said so himself! his way would have avoided all those layoffs of public workers.

J. Grayson Lilburne September 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

I didn’t take it as a personal attack. I took it as a sign of a rigid intolerance of having anything posted that isn’t 100% on-message and 100% ideologically pure.

DD5 September 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Actually, I made that original comment in light of a comment I saw. But never mind.

sm September 11, 2010 at 9:07 am

As I posted below, a politician is a tool for change. Don’t read everything a politician says so literally. Politicians are more pragmatic than idealistic, but that doesn’t mean they can’t do good. Him saying that the system he advocated would have avoided laying off teachers is nothing more than pragmatism on the part of a politician. He has to say that, it would render him nonviable in the current political arena if he didn’t offer that sort of token rhetoric. Again, don’t become overly focused on how ideologically pure Christie himself may be. The take away is that change that wasn’t previously possible in New Jersey is now possible and people will now start to question the role and value of government.

North September 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm

You both have a point but you have to be careful at the same time. The Proudhon fans would have a heyday with this post (they love ripping on the Walmart posts too because of eminent domain).

I think all in all you do well in selecting posts Grayson. Keep them coming because we do enjoy them. We just want “on lookers” to know that while we love it when people put union advocates in their place, we’re also noticing that he increased the budget being discussed both in absolute and relative terms at the State level (given the declining economy he noted).

J. Murray September 10, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Public employees are not taxpayers. Returning a portion of your salary back to the entity that pays you is no different than accepting a lower salary and not sending it back to the entity.

Fallon September 10, 2010 at 2:56 pm


DD5 September 10, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Ron Paul would have a better chance of political survival if he confessed he was an ancap(I’m not saying he is) then if this guy told that teacher she doesn’t pay any taxes.

Not that I think Christie would even realize something like this

Bruce Koerber September 10, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I think what makes this relevant is the sign of ideologic change that is happening and that has to happen.

Which makes the blog entry entitled “First, Ideological Change; Second, Social Change” an interesting supplement.

Marc Sheffner September 10, 2010 at 9:43 pm

“ideologic change” my foot. It’s just economic reality finally catching up with folks. I don’t know the man in the video from Adam, but I thought he handled a tough question well: he kept his cool, wasn’t rude or retaliatory, remained rational, remembered figures (mostly), and was specific. However, would he have this “ideologic change” – if that’s what it is – if there hadn’t been the 1 billion cut in Federal funds, I wonder?
When reality hits, people squeal: “I don’t like this! I prefer the fantasy!!” Don’t we all.
I enjoyed watching the video. Thanks for posting it.

DD5 September 10, 2010 at 4:30 pm


What is the change of ideology expressed in this video exactly? All Christie is trying to do is save his State from financial collapse. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want anybody to go through any suffering, but how in the world is a guy trying to save the State suddenly a sign of ideology change in the direction of freedom?
It’s not as if Christie goes out and says: First I’ll save the public schools from collapse so we have a place to continue to send the children, then I’ll work to gradually abolish it or at least, deregulate the private sector so it could compete. There is nothing like that.

Bruce Koerber September 10, 2010 at 5:58 pm


I did not say that the Governor had a change in ideology specifically. It is the discussion and the need for such a discussion that is the sign of a change taking place in ideology.

As an example, instead of short half-truths with no content there was a serious discussion that activated the thinking process in those who were listening and it even appeared that anyone with legitimate questions would be allowed to ask them.

A thinking body politic ‘allowed’ to seek knowledge represents an ideological change.

DD5 September 10, 2010 at 7:02 pm

It’s called demagoguery. Give me a break!

This is why politics is so dangerous. Somebody like this will run for president and most self proclaimed libertarians will go out and vote for him.

It’s very discouraging how liberty people jump right back on the political wagon once they hear the right combination of words. And in this case, the man said absolute nothing except take on a public school teacher. This is the new standard now.. anybody who doesn’t suck up to teachers?

Rick September 10, 2010 at 7:35 pm

No, it’s not the new standard. I wasn’t jumping on his band wagon and I don’t think many people here are either. As for my comment above, I was just saying that I don’t think it’s practical to expect people to go from a statist mentality to overnight being a classical liberal, ancap, or whatever people here would like to see more of. How many people here were born pure libertarians? Whatever that really means. Nobody, it’s an intellectual journey. You know that.

I would like it if they did convert overnight, but always insisting on Misesian or Rothbardian purity from democrats or republicans is always going to be disappointing. And withdrawing from the discussion when they’re not 100% pure (which is always the case) is no way to influence them or encourage those who are thinking more about the kind of things people here write but maybe don’t yet have the confidence you do.

Bruce Koerber September 11, 2010 at 10:20 am

Again you focus on the speaker while I focus on the listeners. The listeners are ready to hear that there is parasitism. The next step is to find the best means to get rid of the parasites.

Bruce Koerber September 11, 2010 at 10:24 am

This was in response to DD5.

Bruce Koerber September 11, 2010 at 7:23 pm

How Do We Get Rid Of The Parasitic Political Class?

One of the best means to get rid of the parasites is to understand that politicians are ego-driven interventionists and that there is no moral authority for any (repeat – any) intervention into the economy. In other words, ego-driven interventionists are immoral and economically ignorant and should be shunned and ostracized as villains. This is the mindset that is beginning to take hold and will continue to grow.

Will September 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm


I think the point people are trying to make is that he has a great personality, great oratory skills, and given his affiliation, has done a great job defending and advancing his position. It’s giving credit where credit is due. It’s like loosing in a sports game. There is respect for the competitor.

I am not saying to respect our rulers, but to recognize a rarity among politicians.
He is far from perfect. I think he state-seized the private casnios in NJ.

And personally being a former republican, has an influence with how I feel about the situation.

North September 10, 2010 at 6:02 pm

I agree. I’m basing my comments on the video alone and all that stood out for me was a great depantsing of a union advocate. Policy-wise there was nothing there to make me a fan

Cory Brickner September 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm

Governor Christie is a rarity. No matter what I think about the state, those thoughts would certainly be tempered a bit if it was comprised mostly of individuals of his character. Good for him. NJ has themselves a diamond in the rough.

J Cortez September 10, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Great exchange. Based on what I’ve seen so far, Christie is one of the few politicians that appears to be a real person as opposed to one of the vampire undead. Admittedly though, I don’t know much about him.

It’s interesting watching people working in state apparatus lay things out in a real terms as opposed to the insane Fox/MSNBC, R/D, blood/crip duopoly paradigm that dominates current political discourse. While I consider government apparatus to be instruments of theft and violence, I tend to forget that many of the people operating within these systems don’t see it that way at all.

As shown in this video, they need to have a cost accountant mentality because without it, they’re just not trying to see reality. If the iceberg is on the horizon and you’re on the Titanic, acting like it doesn’t exist is not going to help things.

I hope they get it worked out. Of course, the one option that would not be considered–privatization–would be the surest route to a better system.

htran September 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm

To put it bluntly, this man has the rhetorical skills needed to get many of our thoughts across, to make those ideas acceptable to a large swath of the ignorant public. He’s probably not a libertarian, but he’s willing to make enemies to get the necessary things done. I truly think he puts the state’s well-being above his political career. We need this man.

newson September 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm

i don’t have to befriend the enemy of my enemy to enjoy the stoush.

N G September 11, 2010 at 12:24 am

From a survival/investing perspective, there is the question of will we have hyperinflation and/or sovereign defaults at state and/or national levels. Will we have Greek style crisis? Will we have violent left wing mobs (has happened already in Santa Cruz not too long ago) such as are terrorizing Greece? I think Mish has suggested that Tea Party type activism might generate sufficient austerity measures to prevent or forestall some such disasters. It is interesting to watch such dynamics unfold here (as per the video) it shows the political pressure to keep inflating, and the incredible entitlement mentality of these public workers. And wishing death upon the governor, on the record, from a union member! More data showing the utter divorce from economic realities of these lefties.

And it’s striking how luxurious these workers’ benefits are, and that nonetheless, the conservative governor, in this downturn can hardly get away with even a minute change in their benefits. I think such vignettes do provide useful Signs of the Times.

sm September 11, 2010 at 8:59 am

Wow, a lot of the posts were very cynical and took a “Christie may be for smaller government, but for the wrong reasons or not to a sufficient degree” tone. I guess it is that kind of cynicism that gives Libertarians the reputation of being hopelessly apathetic and removed from the political process. Who cares if he does what he does only because of the current economic crisis? Does anyone believe that the entire bureaucratic machine can be completely dismantled in one fell swoop? If there is any silver lining in the current economic hardship, it is that more and more people will come to realize that government can not and should not be trusted to provide economic stability and prosperity. As a result more and more leaders like Christie will become electable. After all, a politician is just a tool for change, it is the genuine will of the people that has to drive the change itself. If that will is lacking then we are in trouble, but don’t concern yourself with whether Christie, personally, has the right ideology or not. He should be applauded for the things he is saying and the things he is doing, they are all steps in the right direction. If the situation in New Jersey can be bettered through the reduction of government then, again, a strong message will be sent that government is the problem and not the solution.

Jon Leckie September 11, 2010 at 10:08 am

Great post, sm: I agree. The state has gotten so big today that anyone who wants to wind it back even a little will get a thumbs up from me. I think it’s an old Arab saying, but it’s a variation on a theme: It’s easier to take three small steps than one big leap.

mpolzkill September 11, 2010 at 10:44 am

I’m seeing a lot of sort-of-negative posts from *one* guy, SM. Here’s one more:

“all steps in the right direction”

Yeah! Like in ’94! Here we go!

But….it *is* always great when crummy righties lambast horrifying lefties on domestic policy. Just like it was awesome when they were the minority how crummy lefties lambasted horrifying righties on foreign policy and the Security State.

- – - – - –

Right on, Jon, as usual.

- – - – - – -



That’s a strange expression, Bruce!

newson September 12, 2010 at 1:01 am

sorry, local vernacular. “fight”.

Matthew Swaringen September 11, 2010 at 9:33 am

I like Christie, even if he’s not an anarchist. He may do something later that makes me dislike him, and that’s probably likely. But to this point I’m not unhappy with him.

Jesse Forgione September 11, 2010 at 9:54 am

Christie may not be Ron Paul, but he’s a good guy. As a US Attorney he prosecuted corrupt politicians (yes I know that’s redundant) and defended the building of a mosque when they were being denied building permits and threatened with confiscation of their land through eminent domain.


William P September 11, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Yeah, if LvMI devotees can’t get behind a politician like Chris Christie, there’s really no politician they could get behind.

All the smart and talented people who are fans of the Mises Institute really should be political activists at the moment. Join the Tea Party, or something.

Talk is cheap. The book was called Human ACTION, after all.

"i'm a taxpayer"? September 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm

so you’re a taxpayer if you steal other people’s tax money and return some of that money later on?

Esuric September 11, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I bet she wished that she walked away from that one….

kelley September 12, 2010 at 12:09 am

I don’t know anything about this guy, beyond this clip, but I’m impressed by his style and delivery. I doubt she appreciated it, but the teacher was definitely exposed to re-education. She should have done her homework before showing up at the meeting. Realistically, because of her likely embarrassment and too much propaganda from the union, she probably missed the value in what she was told, but we can at least be hopeful that others were able to see the reality behind what he said.

Alexander S. Peak September 12, 2010 at 6:31 am

Good response, but this guy doesn’t appear to be a libertarian or even a classical liberal, nor does he advocate the libertarian position of separating education from state, nor did I hear him provide any Austrian economic analysis, so I must admit that I’m a bit perplexed as to why this video has been included here.

Alex Peak

noah September 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm

This guy does appear willing to acknowledge and discuss reality, and ACT accordingly, at least to some degree. Compare that to the misdirection, lip service and blatant lying of the average politician who lures followers into the feel-good emotionalism of fantasies built on false logic. That may not put him on the same planet as libertarians, but at least he’s in the same galaxy. It’s a start, and a good one, because it’s REAL. He actually got elected, which can be very helpful in the realm of human action.

If libertarians confine themselves to thinking only in idealistic terms and seeking perfection, they will exist in the same fantasy land as Kucinich progressives: owning the self-satisfaction of knowing how very right they are without seeing much more than a drop of that rightness seep into the mainstream. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

Ong Gia September 15, 2010 at 8:09 am

Christie for 2012! Go Christie go.

Anne C September 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I don’t understand something. If he says that the cuts they made this year were the result of not having the 1 billion they had last year, but he says that 1 billion was a ONE TIME federal aid grant, then what did they do the year before the 1 billion dollars aid? If it was a one time thing? Then Cristy says he cut $820 million more than Corizinne…but Corizinne didn’t have to cut because he got the 1 billion from the federal govt. Then Cristy says he spend $280 million but he spent more than Corizine did then didn’t he, because he was using state money not the federal money Corizine got? I really don’t see how he can compare the two when Corizine had a billion from the feds and Cristy didn’t . So Cristy is taking it out of the teachers. But he is also comparing the private sectors lack of raises to the teachers cost of living raises but again, apples to oranges….what is the connection?

Matthew Swaringen September 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm

1) The 1 billion from the previous year allowed the state to fill a budget gap in education that existed
2) Christy didn’t have the 1 billion, so he had to raise more money from other areas of the budget to put towards education.
3) He allocated an additional $180 million from the state budget over what the prior years budget had, but lacking the $1 billion dollars the total reduction in available funds for education was $820 million (based on his comments his math doesn’t work out by $100 million, so I think he really meant $180, or perhaps he meant $720 reduction in funds instead instead).

This $720 or $820 million shortfall made it necessary for the state not to provide a raise to the teachers. He believes this has merit because there is very low price inflation right now (his term) so that the teachers don’t need the normal cost of living increase. He also rightly points out that much of the private sector isn’t getting any kind of raise at all, including cost of living increases.

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